That is one of the most frequent questions I am asked when I do a book signing. And the answer might surprise you.
More often than not, I am not even thinking of writing a book when I get an idea. Take the most recent book I wrote for example: Broken Promises: A Matt Davis Mystery. If you look at the cover, what do you see? A burning building. The storyline in Broken Promises centers around an fictitious old hotel, the Artemis, which burned down many years ago. Where did I get the idea? Well, for ten years, I was a fly fishing guide, primarily on the Beaverkill River in upstate New York. When I was guiding, I stayed in the vicinity of a small town called Roscoe (the setting for the Matt Davis mystery series). The river is accessed from Old Route 17, which follows the Beaverkill’s path from east to west. About a half mile outside town is an old white house that sits atop a hillside. For years, I would pass it and wonder what its history was. When I was a guest speaker at the Two-Headed Trout Dinner in 2012, I met famous Catskill fly tyer, Mary Dette Clark. During our conversation, I inquired about the building in question and learned, lo and behold, that that was the house where she was born. Immediately, I decided to write my next book with that as the focal point—naturally, I turned it into a hotel.
Another book that had an unusual genesis was Twice Bitten: A Matt Davis Mystery. Because I write mysteries, I don’t often read them; the reason being that I am always concerned I might co-opt another’s work without realizing it. For that reason, I tend to gravitate toward non-fiction. One day, while at the local library, I came across a book by Dennis Covington called Salvation on Sand Mountain. Mr. Covington is a journalist who covered the trial of Glenn Summerford, a pentecostal preacher, accused of attempting to murder his wife with venomous snakes. The book inspired me to write my third book in the Matt Davis mystery series.
I don’t know how other authors find inspiration for their writing, but mine comes from virtually every corner of my life: from my hobbies, my interactions with others, even from magazine articles, or newspapers. So to answer the question “Where do you get your ideas?” I reply—anywhere and everywhere!
So what am I currently writing? It’s another Matt Davis mystery called Deadly Ransom, but you’ll just have to wait until spring of 2015 to find what inspired me to write it. Stay tuned!
NOTE – Joe Perrone Jr is the author of the Matt Davis Mystery Series: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day (a 2012 Indie B.R.A.G. medallion winner), Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. All four are available in paperback and E-book from Amazon.com. As the Twig is Bent and Opening Day are also in audiobook from Audible.com, with Twice Bitten and Broken Promises currently in production. If humor is your cup of tea, consider Joe’s rip-roaring, coming-of-age novel, Escaping Innocence: A Story of Awakening, set in the tumultuous Sixties, or A “Real” Man’s Guide to Divorce (First, you bend over and . . . ). Both are available in print, E-book, and audio book editions.
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